About Dawn Johnson

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Dawn Johnson has created 33 blog entries.

H. R. 50, Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2017

“This bill would aim to increase the information available to Congress & the public about federal mandates in proposed bills and regulations. It’d require agencies to measure a proposed rule’s annual effect on the economy, not just “expenditures”, and to conduct an Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) analysis unless a law expressly prohibits them doing so. UMRA analyses would be required for all final rules, even those that weren’t subject to a public comment period.

The Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) current policy of accounting for specific costs of federal mandates — such as foregone business profits, costs passed onto consumers and other entities or behavioral changes — would be codified into law. Congressional committee chairmen and ranking members would be granted authority to request that the CBO perform analyses comparing the authorized levels of funding in bills or resolutions with the potential loss of federal aid dollars when mandate compliance is a condition for that aid.

Federal agencies would be required to consult with private sector entities, like small businesses, that’ll be directly impacted by proposed regulations in the same way they do with state, local, and tribal governments. Agencies would be required to include an appendix in their annual reports to Congress detailing their regulatory consultation with state, local, and tribal governments and the private sector.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) would be responsible for determining whether agencies have satisfied UMRA’s cost disclosure requirements. It’d allow the judicial branch to place a stay on regulations or invalidate rules if the originating federal agency fails to complete statutorily required UMRA analyses.” (Source: Countable)

One of the two DFL Reps present for the roll call voted opposite Jason Lewis, as did 167 other Dems in the House. We therefore regard Lewis’s vote as being against progressive values.

Why This Bill Is Against Our Values:

“H.R. 50, the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2017, is significantly flawed. The bill would be an assault on the nation’s health, safety, and environmental protections, erect new barriers to unnecessarily slow down the regulatory process, and give regulated industries an unfair advantage to water down consumer protections.” (Source: Minority Views, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House Report 115-798)

The Unfunded Mandates and Information Transparency Act would require federal agencies to alert regulated industries when they are considering drafting a rule and solicit their feedback – before the public learns there may be a rule under consideration. Businesses could block even a hypothetical future rule and the public might never find out.

The bill would require agencies to perform retrospective analyses at the request of any chairman or ranking member of any House or Senate committee. Agencies could be forced to perform dozens, if not hundreds, of unnecessary retrospective reviews for rules that have been on the books for decades – diverting staff and resources from developing critical new safety standards.

In addition, the legislation would improperly expand the scope of judicial review by requiring judges to assess cost-benefit analyses that they do not have the economic, technical and scientific expertise to evaluate. This unprecedented role for the courts is just a recipe for more litigation, endless delays and greater uncertainty for regulated industries and the public.”  (Source:  Coalition for Sensible Safeguards)


More Info See Bill


H. R. 50, Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act of 2017 2018-07-20T17:50:22+00:00

S. 204, Right to Try Act of 2017

This bill amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to exempt, from specified requirements and restrictions under that Act and other laws, the provision of certain unapproved, investigational drugs to a terminally ill patient who has exhausted approved treatment options and is unable to participate in a clinical trial involving the drugs. The manufacturer or sponsor of an eligible investigational drug must report annually to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on any use of the drug in accordance with these provisions. The FDA shall post an annual summary report of such use on its website.

The bill limits the liability of a sponsor, manufacturer, prescriber, or dispenser that provides, or declines to provide, an eligible investigational drug to an eligible patient in accordance with the bill.

Why This Bill Is Against Our Values:

“The Goldwater Institute has funded a nationwide lobbying effort to undermine the federal oversight of medical products, deceptively billed as “right to try” legislation. Now, three proposed federal bills (S. 204, H.R. 878 and H.R. 1020) would more appropriately each be titled “the False Hope Act,” as they expose dying patients to unregulated experimental products while offering the false hope of a cure, when many will ultimately prove ineffective, unsafe or both.”  (Source:  Public Citizen)

“While we support patients’ rights to access medications that could be helpful to them, this particular legislation which is expected to be voted on in the House of Representatives this week would allow unproven therapies and treatments to be administered to patients without Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notification or involvement, and with no standard for patient informed consent. The legislation would roll back essential patient safeguards and could result in patients being harmed by unproven, and potentially unsafe, therapies. Furthermore, the legislation would significantly restrict FDA’s ability to stop access to an experimental therapy and would remove expert consulting requirements on dosing and other important safety measures currently provided by FDA.

The Federal Government already allows patients to get experimental therapies through its expanded access or compassionate use program. Statistics show that FDA approves over 99 percent of such requests while preserving patient protections.

Rather than move forward with the current legislation, patient groups urge lawmakers to continue working with them to find safe ways to broaden patient access to new treatments without jeopardizing patient safety.” (Source:  American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network)

More Info See Bill


S. 204, Right to Try Act of 2017 2018-06-10T18:05:13+00:00

H. R. 4263, Regulation A+ Improvement Act of 2017

This bill amends the Securities Act of 1933 to increase the amount of securities (like stock) companies can offer and sell over a 12 month period while being exempt from some disclosure and registration requirements under Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Regulation A+ from $50 million to $75 million. It would require the SEC to adjust the threshold every two years for inflation to the nearest $200,000.

Why Jason Lewis’ Vote Is Against Our Values:

“H.R. 4263 would increase the limit established by the Jump Start Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act for Regulation A+ offerings from $50 million to $75 million, and adjust it for inflation every two years. Such an increase is unnecessary, not supported by the data, and potentially harmful.” (Source: Minority Views, House Report 115-544, Committee on Financial Services)

“This is an unwarranted increase in the threshold. Most fundamentally, Congress should not be undermining public securities markets by expanding the ability of larger companies to make offerings while being exempt from core disclosure and investor protection requirements. Private offerings were designed to permit early stage capital raising from sophisticated investors by small companies, but the current cap of $50 million per year in private capital raising already permits fairly large companies to take advantage of this route. Additionally, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) already has regulatory authority to increase the current threshold, which they examine on a biannual basis.” (Source: Americans for Financial Reform)

“This bill would arbitrarily and prematurely increase by 50 percent the amount that companies can offer and sell under Regulation A+ in a given 12-month period, from $50 million to $75 million. It would do so despite market evidence showing issuers of Regulation A+ offerings neither need nor merit more capital. For these reasons, CFA urges representatives to vote no on this ill-advised legislation.”  (Source:  Consumer Federation of America)

More Info See Bill


H. R. 4263, Regulation A+ Improvement Act of 2017 2018-03-19T10:17:20+00:00

H.R. 4607, Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act

This bill would expand required reviews of existing financial regulations and have them occur every 7 years, as opposed to every 10 years under current law. After carrying out the review, regulators would be required to consider tailoring regulations to limit burdens on covered businesses and individuals if regulations are found to be outdated, duplicative, unnecessary, or overly burdensome. Reviews would cover all regulated institutions, as opposed to only insured depository institutions under current law. These reviews are required by the Economic Growth and Regulatory Paperwork Reduction Act (EGRPRA) of 1996.

Why Jason Lewis’ vote is against our values

Any comprehensive regulatory review should not be one-sided and focused on deregulating the industry, but rather seek a holistic approach to improve the overall regulatory framework to ensure it is truly working in the public’s interest. This means ensuring the review criteria is balanced, and the process encourages regulators to strengthen protections for consumer, investors and taxpayers, not simply weaken regulations for megabanks and other large financial businesses. Unfortunately, H.R. 4607 does not provide such a balanced regulatory review approach.” (Source: Minority Views, House Report 115-573, Financial Services Committee)

“Rather than providing meaningful protections for consumers, these bills undermine important sensible safeguards put into place after the financial crisis that culminated a decade ago.” (Source: Consumer Federation of America)


More Info See Bill


H.R. 4607, Comprehensive Regulatory Review Act 2018-03-12T14:41:14+00:00

H. R. 4296, To Place Requirements on Operational Risk Capital Requirements for Banking Organizations Established by an Appropriate Federal Banking Agency

This bill would prohibit federal banking agencies from establishing an operational-risk capital requirement (i.e. money & non-cash assets that have to be held in reserve) for banks unless the requirement: 1) is based on, and is appropriately sensitive to, current risks; 2) is determined under a forward-looking assessment of potential losses — rather than only considering historic losses;  and 3) allows certain adjustments.

Why Jason Lewis’ vote is against our values

“According to bank regulators and the Treasury Department, efforts have been underway internationally to make administrative and technical refinements to the operational risk capital requirement, and we should expect changes in the near future. Congress should closely monitor these developments to see if regulators strike the right balance, and if not, then consider a legislative response. Thus, H.R. 4296 is premature and possibly short-sighted to enact statutory conditions regarding the operational risk capital requirement. This framework would diminish, instead of strengthen, the incentive for megabanks to maintain stronger internal controls and risk management systems.” (Source: Minority Views, House Report 115-574, Committee on Financial Services

“This bill is a transparent effort to boost big bank profits by pressuring regulators to weaken public protections. If it were passed, major Wall Street banks could increase their borrowing and reduce the private capital they hold to protect the financial system and the public against the effects of a megabank failure.” (Source: Americans for Financial Reform)


More Info See Bill


H. R. 4296, To Place Requirements on Operational Risk Capital Requirements for Banking Organizations Established by an Appropriate Federal Banking Agency 2018-03-04T17:07:07+00:00

H. R. 2954, Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act

“This bill would exempt financial institutions that originate less than 500 closed-end mortgage loans or less than 500 open-end lines of credit annually from recordkeeping and disclosure requirements under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Currently, institutions are required to periodically report to financial regulators about the number and dollar value of closed-end mortgages and open-end lines of credit originated or purchased each year.” (Source: Countable)

Why Jason Lewis’ vote conflicts with our values.

“H.R. 2954, as amended, would harm efforts to identify and stop discriminatory lending and violations of fair housing laws, as well as the ability to understand lending patterns and trends.” (Source: Minority View, Committee on Financial Services, Report 115-485)

“The bill would undermine efforts to ensure that the nation’s mortgage lenders are serving all segments of the market fairly by exempting the vast majority of lenders from the updated reporting required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank). Public officials use this information in distributing public-sector investments so as to attract private investment to areas where it is needed, and to identify possible discriminatory lending patterns.”  (Source:  The National Community Reinvestment Coalition)

“Despite the harm posed to low- and moderate-income communities around the country, HR 2954 would permanently raise the threshold for new HMDA data for both mortgage loan type data and lines of credit to 500 without a good understanding about the real impact of doing so. At this level, 85 percent, or 5,400 depository institutions, and 48 percent of nonbanks, or 497 institutions, would be exempt. That’s 6,000 financial institutions that would no longer report important lending data. By prohibiting these important new data fields from being reported under HMDA, regulators will not be able to fully determine the extent of redlining, discrimination, and other harmful practices. This will make it harder for fair lending violations to be detected as HMDA data are routinely used by the Department of Justice to identify and remedy discrimination in lending and these new data fields are essential for shedding light on the kinds of discrimination—like age—that now flies under the radar.”  (Source:  Congresswoman Maxine Waters [D-CA] statement)

More Info See Bill


H. R. 2954, Home Mortgage Disclosure Adjustment Act 2018-01-22T13:44:03+00:00

H. R. 4015, Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act of 2017

“This bill would require proxy advisory firms to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and subject them to certain rules and reporting requirements. Publicly traded companies are required to issue proxy statements to shareholders before voting on corporate actions — like electing company directors and approving compensation packages. Proxy advisory firms advise a variety of clients like pension plans, mutual funds, and other institutional investors which can influence their advice, so this bill would require such firms to disclose potential or actual conflicts of interest when providing services.

Proxy advisory firms would be required to disclose information about their financial and managerial resources to the SEC in addition to disclosing conflicts of interest to current or prospective clients.

The SEC would be required to report annually to Congress on its regulation of proxy advisory firms.” (Source: Countable)

Why Jason Lewis’ vote conflicts with our values.

“In summary, we believe that corporate governance works best when shareholders are empowered with independent, impartial information when voting on important corporate issues. H.R. 4015 is a harmful bill that would allow corporate management to unreasonably insert themselves in the relationship between investors and the entities whom investors hire for independent advice on these decisions.” (Source: Minority View, Committee on Financial Services, Report 115-451)

“The bill would undermine the ability of shareholders to get reliable, independent analysis of proxy issues on which they are asked to vote.”  (Source:  Consumer Federation of America)

“The regulatory scheme is a transparent attempt to weaken if not eliminate the independence of proxy advisory firms from firm management by placing sharp restrictions on their expression of opinions which differ from those of firm management. Besides raising First Amendment issues, this improperly restricts the ability of shareholders to obtain independent views on how they should exercise their voting rights.”  (Source:  Americans for Financial Reform)

More Info See Bill


H. R. 4015, Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act of 2017 2017-12-23T11:53:50+00:00

H. R. 1638, Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act

This bill requires the Department of the Treasury, in furtherance of efforts to prevent the financing of terrorism, money laundering, or related illicit finance and to make financial institutions’ required compliance with remaining sanctions more easily understood, to submit within 270 days and annually thereafter for the next two years a report regarding:

  • the funds or assets held in U.S. and foreign financial institutions that are directly or indirectly controlled by specified Iranian officials;
  • any equity stake such official has in an entity on Treasury’s list of Specially Designated Nationals or in any other sanctioned entity;
  • how such funds, assets, or equity interests were acquired and used;
  • new methods used to evade anti-money laundering and related laws, including recommendations to improve techniques to combat illicit uses of the U.S. financial system by each such official.
  • recommendations for revising U.S. economic sanctions against Iran to prevent Iranian officials from using funds or assets to develop and procure ballistic missile technology;
  • how Treasury assesses the effectiveness of U.S. economic sanctions against Iran; and
  • recommendations for improving Treasury’s ability to develop and enforce additional economic sanctions against Iran if so ordered by the President.

The unclassified portion of the report shall be made available to the public and posted on Treasury’s website in downloadable English, Farsi, Arabic, and Azeri versions.

Why Jason Lewis’ vote conflicts with our values.

“In light of the bill’s limited practical utility; its failure to meet its own stated objectives; its diversion of critical resources away from Treasury investigations; the report’s lack of usefulness as a compliance tool; and the negative impact the legislation would have on the continued viability of the nuclear deal, which to date is widely viewed as a success, we oppose this bill.” (Source: Minority View, Committee on Financial Services, Report 115-453).


More Info See Bill


H. R. 1638, Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act 2017-12-18T15:38:01+00:00

H. R. 1919, Child Tax Credit Protection Act

Bill Summary:

This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to expand the identification requirements for the child tax credit to require taxpayers to provide a valid identification number (i.e., a Social Security account number issued by the Social Security Administration) on their tax returns in addition to the name and taxpayer identification number of each qualifying child. A “valid identification number” does not include a taxpayer identification number issued by the Internal Revenue Service. 

Bill Sponsor: A. Drew Ferguson IV (R-GA)

H. R. 1919, Child Tax Credit Protection Act 2017-12-06T17:30:22+00:00

H. R. 2133, CLEARR Act of 2017

Bill Summary:

This bill provides regulatory relief to community financial institutions.  Changes are proposed to the Fair Housing Act to require intent to discriminate.  A change in the Truth in Lending Act would exempt “small creditors” from some loan requirements, but a small creditor is defined as a creditor with assets of $50 billion or less.  Those institutions that annually service less than 30,000 mortgage loans would be exempt from the mortgage reporting requirements of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Mortgage servicing and appraisal rules would also be amended.

Bill Sponsor: Blaine Leutkemeyer (R-MO)

H. R. 2133, CLEARR Act of 2017 2017-12-06T17:21:55+00:00